I used to rush through airports.
Back when I was a celebrity gossip blogger, I spent a lot of time running through airport terminals to catch flights. I was never early or on time. I’d always show up barely missing check-in for bags and would get to the gate just moments before doors were to close and the plane was to take off.
It’s almost like I got an adrenaline rush from just making it.
As soon as I reached my destination, I’d be whisked off in a car to a hotel, then rushed through a glam session, before rushing off to an event, and the next day I’d wake up to rush to the airport again.
It was like a non-ending cycle of rushing to get to the next moment.
Things changed a little bit for me in 2012, when I landed in Sweden. It was my first time overseas.
I had been invited to go on a 7 day, 7 country tour with Rihanna but had decided to skip out on the first three dates after finding out that there would be no wi-fi on the plane throughout the trip. My business was entirely online-based so I had to plug in, and me being unplugged for seven days meant I’d be losing money. That couldn’t happen.
So here I was in Sweden at 6am in the morning panicking because I had no way of contacting anyone to figure out where I’d be rushing to next. I popped a $20 into a machine which allowed me to access internet for 20 minutes and to my luck I received an email from the Def Jam rep notifying me that they were way behind schedule and wouldn’t be meeting me at the airport for a few hours.
5 hours to be exact.
“What am I going to do for 5 hours with no Internet or phone service,” I remember thinking. At that point in my life, and with how intense my career had become keeping up with celebrity lives, I had never been unplugged that long except in my sleep. I felt like a dope fein needing her fix as the first hour went by. What was happening in the world that I was missing out on? Was I missing some big news on Twitter? FOMO was kicking in at it’s finest.
By hour two, I found myself relaxing a little and I started taking in the moment. I took note of my breathing pattern to past the time and I started observing my surroundings.
If you’ve ever spent time in an airport arrivals or departures terminal before, especially International, it can be a beautiful thing. It can cause a range of emotions as you watch husbands kissing babies they may not get to see for weeks or months on end. Best friends reuniting. Long lost loves finding their way back to each other. No matter how long you spend waiting in the terminal, it’s inevitable that you will see a lot of love. In all different forms.
I remember a sense of warmth came over me as a couple sat together, hugged and kissed, and embraced each other until they fell asleep. The warmth turned to sadness as I thought about my own life, and how I spent it rushing through airports, rushing to events, rushing to obtain another level of success, rushing to places where I would never make real connections and love was never the end goal.
Love was never the final destination.
Who have I turned into?
I spent the next four days rushing through Paris, Berlin, Germany, London and back to New York on a plane with 120 journalists and a pop star. I couldn’t tell you much about those cities or much about the trip because we rushed right through it. And when I returned home, I rushed straight to my computer and jumped back in the matrix of updating Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and my blog.
But deep down I knew I had to slow down. I had to experience life. I had to experience love and I couldn’t do it at the intensity that I was working. My days were filled with posting on Beyoncé and Blue Ivy sightings, the latest Kardashian fodder, celebrity beefs, break babies and fappenings. And I was tired of it all. It was draining.
[Tweet "These people were living their lives. And I was rushing to write about it."]
I finally threw in the towel and closed down my celebrity gossip site a few years later. I also moved to Arizona, which allowed me to slow my life down a bit from the hectic lifestyle I was living in New York and LA.
And boy, did life open up.
Once the ‘rushing’ had ceased, and I wasn’t required to be plugged in all of the time, I found that I had more time on my hands. With that time, I developed deeper friendships. I reconnected with a few members of my family. I did more things that I enjoyed and I was able to live in my moments.
And I fell in love.
Three weeks ago, I stood outside an airport again short on time. This time I wasn’t rushing off to a destination, I was there to drop off the guy who had managed to win my heart. He was headed to Europe where he’d spend the next two years of his life and it was a very anxious moment for the both of us –and the future. Not knowing where we’d end up.
We hugged and kissed but everything seemed a little rushed since it was less than an hour until his plane would depart and we weren’t sure if his bags would make it. After one last hug, he ran inside and I jumped in my car and pulled off to head home.
But I knew I couldn’t let that be how our story ended. Rushed goodbyes.
So I looped around the airport terminal as fast as I could, ended up where I dropped him off three minutes later, and I illegally parked and ran inside with hopes that I didn’t miss him.
To my luck, he stood there with his back towards me as he printed a ticket at the kiosk.
Before I knew it, I jetted off running towards him, pounced on him from behind and grasped him into a kiddie bear hug that he couldn’t fight his way out of.
After about 10 seconds, and him identifying me by my tiny little wrists, he turned around to face me. He had the most electrifying smile…
And in that moment we exuded the type of love that I saw in the airport in Sweden.
Unaware of anything else that was going on in the terminal, or in that moment, we exchanged another passionate hug and kiss, and he looked me in the eye and said, “we are going to be alright.” That was his assurance that he wouldn’t let distance tear us apart.
Nothing else that was happening during that moment mattered. There is not one thing that could have happened in the world, on the web, on my social media accounts, that could have pulled me away from experiencing the intensity of that moment. I could feel everything from his heartbeat when he leaned into me, to my hair raise on my arms at the cue of his touch. Weeks later, I can still feel that moment.
[Tweet "And I’m realizing that in order to feel love --real love --you can’t rush a moment"]
You have to let yourself go and fully drown in the moment. It’s the only way to experience things at a higher frequency. It’s the only way to experience joy at the highest level, love and deeper connections. You also have to learn to submit to the moment.
In the past, when I found myself worrying and asking questions like, “what happens after this, how long will this feeling last, and will this go away?” I knew that I wasn’t completely surrendering to the moment. I was living in the next moment. And that’s where most of our pain, anxiety and suffering in life originates. Anticipating the next moment while trying to force our desired outcome.
I don’t know what will happen in the next few days, months, or years. If I had my way, I would be running off in the sunset and living happily ever after. But I’ve allowed myself to stop rushing the process.
I’ve detached myself from the desired outcome in order to surrender to life and allow it to play out as it should.
I also have no idea how this story will end.
But what I do know, is that I’ll never rush through life again.
Do you find yourself rushing through life?
Originally posted on Medium and Iamnecole.com
Bio: My name is Necole and I am a former celebrity gossip blogger. I now spend my life as the CEO of xoNecole.com, as well as a transitional coach for young women and entrepreneurs who feel stuck and are ready to press the ‘reset’ button and live the life of their dreams. To keep in touch, sign up for my mailing list, or follow me on Instagram. Thank you for reading and all of your love and support through this transition! :)